Television choices: Novice writer spikes her pen into the core of the Big Apple
Novice writer spikes her pen into the core of the Big Apple
TV pick of the week: Girls
Monday 10pm Sky Atlantic
"I think I may be the voice of my generation," Lena Dunham's character, Hannah, a would-be writer, tells her sceptical parents in the opening episode of Dunham's semi-autobiographical sitcom, Girls. After Girls (produced by Judd Apatow for HBO) went on to become the most talked about new show in America, publishers took Dunham at her word, and engaged in a bidding war for her first book. Back in the sitcom, Hannah is having less luck than her creator, her parents cutting the purse-strings, and her boss sacking her rather than transforming her internship into a real job. It's a funny riposte to the glamorous Manhattan of Sex and the City, as Hannah and her very normal-looking female friends struggle to emerge into adulthood.
The Thick of It
Saturday 9.45pm BBC2
In a special hour-long episode, Lord Goodeson convenes his official inquiry into "the practice and dissemination of government information" – The Thick of It's answer to Leveson, albeit rather more tough and pithy than the real thing. Among the highlights are Stewart Pearson being forced to speak plain English and the sight of Malcolm Tucker squirming.
You've Been Trumped
Sunday 10pm BBC2
"A 21st-Century Highland clearance," says a protester of the sweeping aside of local opposition to Donald Trump's luxury golf resort on the pristine Aberdeenshire coastline. Anthony Baxter's documentary calls itself a "David and Goliath tale" and opens with a scene from the 1983 film Local Hero. Unlike that fantasy, this tale didn't end in victory for the little men.
Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1
"They should shoot you when you're 60," says an old bloke featured in this insight into the lives of OAPs from the documentary-maker Brian Woods. The focus is on three – Doris, Francis and Kitty – living on the basic state pension and a diet of loneliness, cold (20,000 old people die of cold every winter) and crime, but retaining great resilience and humour.
Brazil with Michael Palin
Wednesday 9pm BBC1
The world's nicest man visits the world's fifth largest country – emerging power and host of the next World Cup and Olympics, Brazil (a curious omission from Palin's travel CV). The former Python's previous series had an in-built narrative (round the world north-to-south, etc), but this one potters somewhat as he begins in the former slave ports of the country's north-east.
Hatfields & McCoys
Thursday 9pm Channel 5
The History Channel's last original drama series, The Kennedys, was derided, but their new one – recalling a folkloric 30-year feud between two Appalachian clans – comes showered in Emmy awards. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton are the rival leads. What it lacks is humour, and some may find themselves stretching for that Deadwood box-set instead.
A Wolf Called Storm: Natural World Special
Friday 9pm BBC2
The cameraman Jeff Turner spent a year in northern Canada filming the lives of a wolf pack that featured in the David Attenborough series Frozen Planet – and the delightful results (when were you last let down by a BBC wildlife film?) observes the pack leader trying to pass its hunting skills on to a new generation of cubs.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show